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Saudi retailer Fawaz Alhokair pulls out of M&S franchise partnership

Saudi retailer Fawaz Alhokair pulls out of M&S franchise partnership
FILE PHOTO: Clothes are displayed on hangers in an Marks & Spencer shop in northwest London, Britain July 8, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett -
Suzanne Plunkett(Reuters)
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DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabian retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co. <4240.SE> has pulled out of its franchise partnership with British store group Marks & Spencer <MKS.L> and has ended similar agreements with a number of “non-performing” brands, it said on Wednesday.

Alhokair posted first-quarter net profit of 224 million riyals (49.21 million pounds) down 10.1% from 249.2 million riyals a year earlier.

The firm, which owns franchise rights for brands including Mango, Zara and Banana Republic in the Middle East, said a decline in sales during the quarter was driven by the closure of non-performing stores and the disposal of weak brands as the group press ahead with a “portfolio optimisation strategy.”

Marks & Spencer (M&S) was not immediately available to comment outside of its business hours.

(Reporting by Tuqa Khalid; Editing by Mark Potter)

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